What is Critiquing?
Definition from dictionary.com:
1. an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work; detailed evaluation; review.
2. a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc.
Given the definition above, critiquing is more than looking through a written piece and pointing out grammar, punctuation, sentence structure mistakes, etc. Critiquing a written work is an in-depth and thorough investigation of the writer's conveyance of the written word. This requires the critique to know the writing very well.
A critiquer cannot provide an intelligent and thorough review of written work without becoming intimately connected to the piece of work. This may mean the critiquer must read and reread until they have a good grasp on the author's intent and goal, are fully familiar with the characters and plot. Frequently, someone who concentrates only on mechanics will completely miss the forest for the trees.
Therefore, there is a difference between giving a critique and "correcting" someone's grammar. Critiquing is a personal, invested session of getting to know the writing and looking at details closely. Editing, in is most basic sense, is pointing out flagged grammar and how to correct it. Editing is not effective if the critiquer is not familiar with the story, is not invested in helping the story.
Who is considered a good, qualified Critiquer?
A good critiquer is someone who already has a good grasp on writing. You cannot give solid feedback on the level that will be asked here if you cannot write well to begin with. The best grammarian still cannot do his or her job without an understanding of language, context, and usage.
So, things every Critiquer should know and seal up in their hearts:
Knowledge is important, but understanding the story, the writer, and the intent is vital to providing a sound and complete critique. A Critiquer must be able to look at the bigger picture before they can concentrate on the details. Knowledge of subject matter, matters.
The Critiquer needs to be able too look at the bigger picture and know what the writer's problems as a whole are, so the writer knows what to work on.
Acknowledge that a Critiquer will come into the critique with a personal bias and understand that it is okay. Educated critique by someone who is biased will still educate another. Sticking to bare facts will not help anyone, Critiquer nor Writer. Do not be afraid of your bias. But, be ready for counter-commentary.
A Critiquer should be able to intelligently point out the flaws in the work, yet do it in a way where they are not rude about it, but they're not sugarcoating it.
A Critiquer doesn't just point out the flaws but also what the Writer does well for a balanced critique. Pointing out the positive is essential. The Writer needs to be encouraged and know what his/her strong points are as well as his/her weak points.
A Critiquer should be someone who has a great understanding of writing, because they themselves are writers. But, the Critiquer doesn't necessarily having amazing writing themselves.
A Critiquer should be able to see both the forest and the trees. If they can provide a very good insight on the bigger picture, they should be unafraid to do so if they're still working on balancing that with the finer details - And vice-versa.
A Critiquer does not do the work for the Writer. A Critiquer notes what could be polished or improved, in their opinion. A Critiquer may give small examples or what they mean, but ultimately, the Writer will not learn from the experience if they are not the ones thinking about the changes.
A Critiquer must be unafraid to challenge a point or perceived flaw. The Writer's ability to back them helps the Critiquer gauge their creative vision - which must be worked with, but need to figured out due to not being in the Writer's head. The Critiquer should be willing to follow up on the given criticism's effects.
A Critiquer must recognise that by being a critiquer, he or she will inevitably begin to see more flaws in their own writing and learn from the process. No one is above learning and improving, especially a writer.
How to submit and request a Critiquer.
When it comes to submitting a request for a critique, there are various things to keep in mind.
1) Why do you want a critique?
Deep down, why do you want a critique? Please recognise that a good critique can take a very large amount of time. If you are not serious about learning, developing and creating better writing, this kind of critique is not for you. This will not be a pat on the back, or a love fest. There will be some hard-to-swallow commentary that you will have to deal with.
Also, if you are not serious about taking the Critiquer seriously, then this is not for you. There is nothing more discouraging for a Critiquer who spent 5 hours combing through a Writer's work to have the Writer blow off all that because they didn't feel like caring or taking another person's thoughts.
2) What exactly do you want help with?
This is important. Each critique request is for one thing, and one thing only. "All of the above" critiques will not be honoured. You need to pick out a specific area for the Critiquer to concentrate on. If you are unsure about story progression, you ask for that. If you know your grammar has issues, you can request that someone concentrate solely on grammar.
If you want an entire chapter critiqued, you may do that. If you only want a small portion of something critiqued, that is another option. Please do not request an entire story, if it is more then three of four pages long. If you want an excerpt reviewed, please post the review in this sub-forum.
3) How long does the Critiquer have to provide you with feedback?
Please understand that Critiquers have a life and RL constraints. They are volunteers. If you are under a time constraint, please make sure that is very clear. Critiquers will do their best to get your critique to you as soon as they can within the time you need it.
Here is the list of Critiquers. Alongside their names are their specialties. This should help you figure out who would be the best fit for your request.
Critiquer--------------Area of Specialty
Faerdin--------------DF characters and story elements, grammar, spelling, figurative language, symbolism/allegory, poetry
Dwelling Dragonlord-------------AQ/DF characters and storylines, grammar, setting and spelling
Gianna Glow----------Story flow, grammar, poetry, working with beginning writers and poets
Once you have decided what you want critiqued, and who you want to do the critiquing, it is time to request the critiquing. Post this request format, filled out, in this thread. Here is the format:
[b]Link to story, chapter or portion:[/b]
[b]Topic to be critiqued:[/b]
Pending critique requests
Member - Request - Requested Critiquer
Eukara Vox - Chapter 1 - Trainz
Eukara Vox - Purpose and Design - Gianna Glow
Zyrain - Paxia's Void - Dwelling Dragonlord
Critiques in Action
Critiquer - Member - Date due, if applicable
Gianna Glow - Eukara Vox - N/A
Dwelling Dragonlord - Zyrain - N/A
Trainz - Eukara Vox - N/A
Dwelling Dragonlord - Zyrain - Paxia's Void - N/A
Critiques will be posted in the Work Table by the critiquer.
< Message edited by Master Samak -- 4/17/2018 9:49:58 >